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President-elect Victor appoints Howard vp for enrollment

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mercyhurst University alumnus and former administrator Joseph Howard makes his return to Mercyhurst official today with the announcement by President-elect Michael T. Victor, J.D., LL.D., that he has chosen Howard as his new vice president for enrollment.

During the past academic year, Howard had been consulting in the areas of admissions and marketing at Mercyhurst while completing his doctoral coursework in higher education at the University of Michigan. He will join Victor’s senior management team on Monday, Aug. 3, when Victor becomes the 12th president of Mercyhurst University.

In his new role, Howard will direct Mercyhurst in expanding its applicant pool, increasing outreach to non-traditional student populations and enrolling a diverse and academically talented student body.

“For many reasons, Joe is exactly the person we need to lead our enrollment operation at this juncture in the university’s history,” said Victor in making the announcement. “He has a strong background in big data in higher education, organizational effectiveness and strategic planning. He also has a superb understanding of the private higher education landscape and is a strong believer in the Mercy mission. Mercyhurst is fortunate to welcome a professional of Joe’s caliber to our senior management team.”

Howard is a familiar face to many at Mercyhurst. After earning his undergraduate degree in sociology and his master’s in organizational leadership here, he remained at Mercyhurst to begin his career in higher education. He served in the Office of Residence Life and Student Conduct as an assistant director and off-campus living coordinator. He was named coordinator of the Division of Student Life and, later, directed the Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving.

“Mercyhurst has always been an institution that goes above and beyond in our service to and education of our students,” said Howard.  “I say that as one such student – one who matriculated as an at-risk, first-generation college student.  My life has been blessed by the transformative power of the Mercy charism and a liberal arts education,” said Howard.  “It is truly an honor to return to the ‘Hurst to contribute in service of that mission.”

During his study at Michigan, Howard focused on big data and business analytics in higher education, access and equity in higher education and public policy. In addition to his research appointment, Howard also served as a graduate student instructor for the doctoral sequence in quantitative methodologies, as a research assistant in Michigan’s Center for Research on Learning and Teaching and as a statistical computing consultant for the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.

Howard is the second appointment made by Victor as part of his transition plan. Earlier this week, he announced the appointment of David Dausey, Ph.D., as his chief of staff as well as chief academic officer and vice president for academic affairs.